What to Know About Spinal Cord Injuries
During a car accident, the human body absorbs the shock of an entire vehicle. Sometimes, this force is enough to cause spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can upend your life in the most devastating way. The spinal cord serves as the connection between your brain and body; therefore, injuring your cervical, lumbar, or thoracic spine during a car accident could result in a lifetime of pain and discomfort. This blog will discuss the causes and risks of spinal cord injuries and the most common types of spinal cord injuries.
Causes and risks
The spine extends from the base of the skull to the hips and comprises 33 small bones held together by ligaments and disks. The outer spine protects the spinal cord, which sends nerve signals from our brain to the rest of our body. Spinal cord injuries result from extreme force and impact on the vertebrae, ligaments, and disks of the spinal column causing damage to the nerve fibers that make up the spinal cord. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for almost 40% of all cases. Slip and fall situations are the second leading cause. Injuries to the outer structure of the spine can result in chronic pain, but these injuries are often treatable. Victims of spine injuries sometimes are capable of fully recovering with no complications. However, severing or impairing the spinal cord is a worst-case scenario, generally resulting in nerve damage and paralysis.
Types of spinal cord injuries
Whiplash, the most common type of spinal cord injury, occurs when the cervical spine is over-extended. Whiplash is a common outcome of car accidents because the force of impact can cause the head and upper spine to move forward and backward violently. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury, meaning the muscles, tendons, and ligaments attached to the spine are strained. Whiplash can be treated with medication, physical therapy, and rest.
Herniated discs are another typical result of car accidents and slip and falls. Herniated discs occur when the gel-like cushions separating the spinal vertebrae slip and leak from the external spine structure. Herniated discs cause numbness, pain, and tingling and are not as easy to treat as whiplash. Herniated disks frequently require surgery and a lengthy recovery period.
A spinal fracture is when one of the 33 small vertebrae in the spine is cracked or broken. Spinal fractures can cause many symptoms such as pain, muscle spasms, and tightness, to name a few. More severe spinal fractures can lead to further damage of the spinal cord, which can cause paralysis, nerve damage, and sometimes loss of brain function.
If you or someone you know has been in a car accident and has sustained a spinal cord injury, call 1-800-411-PAIN to receive assistance from the best team of legal and medical professionals. A spinal cord injury can cause surmounting medical bills and not to mention mental and emotional trauma. We understand that a spinal cord injury can turn your life upside-down, and 1-800-411-PAIN is here to help. 1-800-411-PAIN will provide you with the medical care you need and fight for the financial compensation you deserve.